What brought you to this work, first of spinning, and then particularly with the yoga community?
My love for dancing got me into throwing dance parties, which (long story short) got me into DJing. The first dance party I threw was at a YogaWorks’ studio in Soho, so my work has been intertwined with the yoga community from the beginning.
To me, the kind of free-form wild dancing you can do at a club is just as much yoga as what you find in an asana class. The ability to dance freely – to really let go and embody the beat – requires the release of resistance and stagnation. When you begin to dance, it becomes clear where you are stuck, and the movement itself gradually opens those stuck places. To really dance is to clear the channels of your being so that breath, life, and intelligence are free to move through you again.
I think the purpose of yoga is quite similar, as is my approach to working with both practices through music.
What is your creative process when designing a set for a) a class and b) a dance party?
It is a fundamentally intuitive and non-verbal process. It’s about feeling, energy, and empathy.
I pick up on the vibration of the room and meet or direct it with the vibration of my music, feel out how the room shifts and then meet and direct that. It’s a feedback loop.
I often come in with a loose plan – usually something that gets a little fancy with harmonic key changes and nerdy stuff like that, always anticipating that there will be a starting point, build up of energy, crescendo into one or more peak moments, and then an alchemical integration period and settling into stillness. But I’m always prepared to drop the plan and know my music well enough to dig through the archives and find a song to match the moment.
How has this work changed the way you listen to music of any kind?
Since I’ve gotten into music production, I’ve been able to hear so much more. There are so many layers and elements going on that you don’t notice if you don’t know what to listen for. The other day I heard a Radiohead song I hadn’t heard in a while (but had probably listened to three hundred times in my Radiohead fangirl days), and I heard an element I had never noticed but was as clear as day. It blew my mind.
The flip side is that I can’t listen or dance to house music without thinking about how I might use it in a set – so that really changes how I experience parties, even the ones that aren’t mine. But that’s not a complaint, it just means I get to do my job when I’m out dancing with friends.
a) Favourite Artist
Return to Cookie Mountain (TV On the Radio), because it changed my life and expanded my understanding of what music is capable of doing
c) Song right now
‘Ready for Your Love’ (Gorgon City feat MNEK)
** Here’s the direct link to my Deep House Yoga collection